Portrait of a Boy by Vincenzo Gemito


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Striking portrait of a child by the main Neapolitan artist at the end of the ottocento.

Portrait of a Boy by Vincenzo Gemito.

Vincenzo Gemito

Naples 1859 – 1929

Portrait of a Boy

Signed, inscribed and dated V. Gemito/1915/Genazzano.

Watercolor and gouache over black chalk, white heightening.

274 x 186 mm – 10,5 x 7,25 in.

After having enjoyed the greatest fame, the sculptor Vincenzo Gemito began to endure repeating psychological illness. In 1915, he settled to rest for six months in Genazzano, not far from Rome. However, far from neglecting work, the prolific artist, champion painter of Neapolitan scugnizzi, kept on drawing extensively, seeking inspiration in streets and urchins as he had always done.

A few other drawings dating also executed in Genazzano are known and most of them are in the same very pictorial and sophisticated technique. They all demonstrate the search for a balance between Renaissance gracefulness and naturalism which motivated the artist throughout his career, in his sculptures as well as in his drawings. In the last twenty years of his life, drawing progressively took over sculpture and became the heart of his artistic activity.

Condition report – A slight brown stain on the lower left edge near the boy’s shoulder. The medium in very good condition, very fresh. Verso: in the lower part, left and right, two old traces of an old mount (visible on the photograph). On the upper edge, right and left, pieces of paper from the mount.